Mark your calendars now for Veterans Day Parade

Published 6:14pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Talk about an event that is long overdue.

Volunteers in Columbus foresee the town decked out in red, white and blue for a Veterans Day parade later this year and we commend them for their vision.

Polk County serves as home to thousands of senior adults, many who served valiantly for their country in a variety of positions with our armed forces.

Almost 25 percent of the county’s population is aged 65 and older. Only 13 percent of North Carolina’s total population falls in that range. We’re even fortunate to be able to point to a healthy handful of our residents living well into their 90s!

Why does this put us in a unique position?

It gives us the opportunity to savor the wisdom of what many consider to be “The Greatest Generation.”

What this generation of individuals has to offer us is an understanding of people who sacrificed much for the things they believed in. Our veterans sacrificed time with their families, use of their limbs, even their lives to protect our safety.

But service to one’s country didn’t stop with those brave souls.

Since then a host of other men and women have stood up to make the same sacrifices through the Vietnam and Korean Wars, as well as wars in the middle east.

Major General James E. Livingston, USMC Ret. for his service in Vietnam. He led his Marine battalion into war without reservation.

Right now, many of our native sons and daughters are living and working overseas in service to our country.

Here at home we have thousands of wounded soldiers, like Polk County resident Adam Palmer, who have returned home to face life after the military. Palmer was serving his third tour of duty in Iraq when he was severely injured by an improvised explosive device.

Men and women like Gen. Livingston and Palmer deserve so much more than a pat on the back. These patriots deserve a true showing of our respect and appreciation. It’s unfortunate that Veterans Day and Memorial Day tend now to be seen as little more than a day off work. Maybe this year you can especially mark those days on your calendar. Instead of making plans to head out on vacation, why not respect the intent of those who created these days and head to the Veterans Day parade, wave your flag and maybe even buy a veteran lunch.

Spending an hour at a parade is the least we all can do.

- Tryon Daily Bulletin Staff

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